Chapter 4: The Federal System
Chapter 4 introduces the federal
system and how it applies to national and state powers. The
American concept of federalism, or the division of
government powers, is quite dynamic. Not only does the Constitution
define the relationship between national and state powers,
but also between states.
Section 1 discusses the
division and types of powers given to national and state powers.
The Constitution grants the national government expressed,
implied, and inherent powers. State government is granted
reserved powers, or those powers not delegated to the national
government. Included in the powers of the national government
are certain obligations toward the states. These obligations
include a republican form of government, protection from invasion,
and territorial integrity.
Section 2 outlines federalism
as it pertains to relations among the states. The Constitution
requires all states to do the following: (1) give " full faith
and credit" to the laws, records, and court decisions of other
states; (2) give one another's citizens all the "privileges
and immunities" of their own citizens; and (3) extradite criminals
and fugitives who flee across state lines to escape justice.
The Constitution also requires states to settle their differences
without the use of force. This is done by negotiating interstate
Section 3 deals with the
ever-changing balance of power delegated to national and state
governments. As federalism has developed, two different views
have emerged on how federalism should operate. The states'
rights position favors state and local authority to deal with
problems. The nationalists' position favors national action
in dealing with matters. Issues facing federalism include
the growing size of the national government and competition
among the states for national government spending.
Section 4 explains the relationship
between federalism and government politics. The influence
of federalism affects government policy making, the political
party system, the political participation activity of citizens,
and also the quality of life. Key terms such as sunset law,
sunshine law, and bureaucracy illustrate the benefits of federalism
and show how citizens can get involved in the various levels